Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Somebody's Trying to Lie Out of This"

"Murder in Silhouette."
By Wade Wells (Manly Wade Wellman, 1903-86).
Written in 1933 and rejected for publication (see HERE).
First appearance as re-written: Risque Stories No. 4, October 1986.
Reprinted as originally written in Pulp Magazine No. 1, March 1989.
Short short story (8 pages).
Online at (HERE).

"If you're really in danger, you're an awful fool to take chances showing up against a lighted window."
A simple bodyguard job quickly escalates to murder when Jess Datchett is hired to protect two men and a woman from threatened retaliation for some sleazy home movies—at least, that's what he's been told; the truth, though, is a bit more complicated . . .

~ Jess Datchett:

  "Fifty dollars, in advance."
~ Ray Tyrone:
  "Ray used to be top cameraman for Nonpareil Pictures out Hollywood way."
~ Joe Beard:
  "I fit in all right. I'm Ray's partner, ain't I, Ray?"
~ Minna Gordon:
  "She was a featured player before our marriage."

Typos: "He liquor"; "to do to job".

- The name of Manly Wade Wellman is legendary for his fantasy fiction, so hardboiled "Murder in Silhouette" is something of a departure for him; there's plenty of information about our author on Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), the ISFDb (HERE), and the IMDb (HERE and HERE).
- It has been well over two years since we last encountered Wellman and his patriotic
wartime tribute "But Our Hero Was Not Dead" (HERE).

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